Alone, with twenty miles of silent road,
with trees, exchanging breath in quiet air.
Alone, with my ambition’s whisper slowed
into a mantra I exhale, a prayer.
So still it seems I hear my muscles bend;
my legs, well trained, have only to rejoice
triumphantly in stride as they extend.
I run until distinctively that voice
says “Quit.” In shock, instinctively I slow
my pace, although my strength does not subside.
“Just stop,” it seems insistently to grow.
“There is no point,” I hear that voice deride.
That voice is mine to silence or obey,
and quietly the miles roll away.
This sonnet is available in my book, “26.2 Sonnets for Runners.”